We believe most of you may have already known that Google has announced that G Suite is being rebranded as Google Workspace. Besides getting a brand new colourful and lively four-colour icons for the productivity apps like Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Meet, we’re excited to see the new features that Workspace is getting! The new functions include linked previews, smart chips, Doc creation in rooms and newly incorporated picture-in-picture feature in Meet. Oh, the new Workspace also comes with new pricing tiers that are worth considering!
Back in July, Google has already been making efforts to integrate independent products like Chat, Meet, Docs etc into Gmail. Like it’s new name, Google is spearheading towards creating a platform with an integrated experience that is now available to all paying Workspace customers. Google also promises to bring Workspace to cater for industries related to education, non profit organisation and customers in the coming months.
What calls for such an upgrade?
An approach of post-pandemic workspace
Google has predicted the first glimpse of what was to come after the pandemic. In a press briefing, Google Workspace VP Javier Soltero mentioned this: “Work is no longer a physical place that we go to, necessarily… Not because we will never return to offices, but because I think it’s important to note that work will take place everywhere in between and that those offices will take on a different role.” Though Soltero claims that this rebrand was not a response to COVID-19, Google’s main aim of introducing Workspace is to create a virtual platform where your work is not tied to a physical office.
Brand New Google Workspace features
In essence, Google Workspace intended to bring G Suite tools like Email, Chat, Meet and content management tools to be a unified experience. To make that happen, Google is working hard to add new features to reduce switching time between applications and tabs.
- Linked Previews
Available today, linked preview is a new feature introduced in Docs, Sheets and Slides. This linked-preview feature allows you to get a preview of the link that you want to visit without leaving the original document.
- Smart chips
Together with linked previews, smart chips have also been incorporated into Google’s productive apps. Now, when you @mention someone in Docs, Sheets or Slides, a smart chip will display details which provide the said context and suggest actions. You can also add the same person to Contacts or reach out via Email, Chat or Meet.
- Collaborate in Chat room
Google Workspace in the coming phase allows you to create Docs, Sheets or Slides, within the room in Chat! Not only does it make content sharing easier, now you can work together with anyone outside your organization with this real-time presentation and editing tool.
- Picture in picture for Meet
Picture in picture is one of the features that we have been waiting for all these while. In the coming months, Google will roll out picture in picture function to Docs, Sheets and Slides. With this, it could help real-time collaboration as it eases users to stay on line, and not miss any nonverbal communication even if the app is closed.
- New pricing tiers
The new Google Workspace also comes with new pricing tiers. For new users to start off with Workspace, there are three tiers to choose from for small businesses with less than 300 seats:
- Business Starter ($6/user) – this is for small businesses that need basic settings such as custom email with Google for their domain.
- Business Standard ($12/user) – this is catered for companies that requires more advanced productive tools, e.g. to conduct bigger meetings and uses more storage.
- Business Plus ($18/user) – this is for organisations that require additional security measures and compliance capabilities like and advanced mobile device management (MDM).
Looking at a whole, the first two levels (Business Starters & Business Standard) have no major difference with our old G Suite package, with the price remaining the same of $6 and $12. However, the Business Plus seemed to be a new in-between tiers with a nice price to provide higher level capabilities to SMBs who do not need the entire enterprise-level offerings. You can know more about Google Workspace pricing here.
There’s also a new package – Essentials ($8/active user). This plan allows you to get started with Meet and other collaboration tools without having to migrate your current email or calendar systems. However, for non-Gmail users, any additional productivity functions and advanced security features to Essentials still require consultation from Google’s sales team to understand further on its compatibility.
Does it affect your G Suite subscription?
As addressed by Google, any existing contracts of G Suite licenses and subscription shall continue until the customer chooses to transition to Workspace. However, for customers who are not ready for such a transition, Google is working hard to share more information to identify the suitable transition path that suits best to their needs, over the coming months. So guys, don’t be worried with this new change. We will make sure you get all the updates and guide you for a smooth transition.
Any questions or concerns on the new Workspace? Drop us an email at email@example.com, we’re happy to advise and help!
Meanwhile, do check our another write-up on ours: Top 5 Considerations to Run Webinars on the New Google Meet if you’re interested in this line of articles!